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The Responsibilities of a Pharmacy Tech

Wyoming hospital pharmacy technician wearing lab coat

Pharmacy techs have numerous job responsibilities, but their main duty is to dispense prescription medicines. Since they are not licensed, when filling prescriptions they must perform under the supervision of a licensed Wyoming pharmacist. They must also have great customer service abilities since they will be working directly with customers. Their attention to detail must be accurate when preparing prescription medicines per the pharmacist's directions. And they need to have an in-depth knowledge of pharmaceutical terms in order that they can assist customers with understanding instructions for their prescriptions in addition to other pharmaceutical information and literature. However, under no circumstance should they ever offer medical advice concerning medications or anything else. All such questions would be addressed by the pharmacist. Some of the typical daily functions a pharmacy technician may carry out are:

  • Receive and help customers with prescriptions and other questions
  • Fill prescription drugs under pharmacist supervision
  • Add prescription and customer data into pharmacy computer system
  • Call customers when their medications are prepared for pick-up
  • Prepare and submit customer insurance claim forms
  • Re-supply shelves and audit and manage inventory

As a consequence of their job, pharmacy technicians will spend most of their working day on their feet. And working weekends and evenings is also very common, particularly for newer techs with low seniority. But the payoff for occasional tired and aching feet or at times being required to work after hours is a very gratifying career helping customers with their health and well-being.

Pharmacy Tech Degrees and Certificates

Wyoming pharmacy stockStudents wishing to enroll in a pharmacy technician college are qualified as long as they have a high school diploma or a GED. There are generally two options to becoming a technician regardless if you enroll in a community college or a trade school. The first is to attain a certificate or a diploma, which typically can be accomplished in a year or less. These programs provide an overview to the different facets of pharmacology and pharmaceutical technology and generally include lab and classroom training. A number of programs also require an internship at an approved Wyoming pharmacy or other facility. The second option is the Associate Degree program which typically requires about 2 years of studies. Although not required for most entry level positions, it does furnish a more in depth education and opens doors to more advanced positions or education in the future. Each program can provide the necessary amount of training to pass the Pharmacy Technician Certification Examination should the graduate decide to become certified.

Pharmacy Technician Certifications Available

It is not required to earn certification in every state, but many graduates of pharmacy technician colleges opt to become certified so as to be more qualified in the job market. Additionally, many Wyoming employers will only employ a technician that has earned certification. There are two organizations that provide certification:

  • National Healthcareer Association (NHA)
  • Pharmacy Technician Certification Board (PTCB)

The NHA requirements are that the candidate be at least 18 years old, has graduated from high school, has completed a training program, and has at least one year of professional experience. The PTCB only requires that the candidate has a high school diploma and passes their exam. Recertification is required every two years by both programs, which may be fulfilled by performing 20 hours of continuing education.

Pharmacist Tech Programs Online

Wyoming young female student enrolled in pharmacy tech training onlinePrior to deciding on a pharmacist technician online training program, it's important to realize that most schools do require that a substantial part of the training be conducted in a clinical setting. This is commonly satisfied in an area Wyoming pharmacy or hospital through an internship program. Students in most cases will have the opportunity to work under an experienced pharmacy tech so as to get some real world experience. Fortunately the non-clinical portion of the training may be taken online in your Wyoming home or via any available computer. This alternative is more convenient for many students, notably for those who continue to work while acquiring their degree or certificate. And online schools are sometimes less expensive than traditional options. Tuition and costs for driving and study materials may be reduced substantially. With both the online and the clinical training, a comprehensive education is provided. But not all online colleges are accredited, which is critical for securing employment and certification (more on accreditation later). So check that each online college you are looking at is accredited by an acknowledged accrediting organization, for example the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP). If you are dedicated enough to learn with a less formal type of education, then online instruction might be the right solution for you.

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